Atheists: Have You Ever Had A Mystical Experience?

I'm reading a book called The God Part of the Brain by Matthew Alper. Mostly, I think it's a pretty interesting book. (there's one thing that really bugs me about it, but otherwise it's a good read). Anyway, he talks about how mystical experiences are found across cultures, which implies that there is a genetic component to them. In other words, every culture in recorded history talks about having mystical experiences so it must be something happening in the brain that is genetic. There must be genes associated with the way the brain works in certain circumstances that cause that phenomenon in people around the world.

Let's define a mystical experience first. Dan Merkur, author of Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions, lists the five most common symptoms of a mystical experience (from The God Part of the Brain, pg 134)

  • a sense of unity or totality

  • a sense of timelessness

  • a sense of having encountered ultimate reality

  • a sense of sacredness

  • a sense that one can not adequately describe the richness of their experience

I was deeply religious as a child, from about age 4 to 12. I was so terrified of burning in hell that I was baptized 3 times in 3 different churches. I went to Sunday school, church, bible camp, I sang hymns, I prayed, I studied and read my bible, and had bible lessons for a short while. But in all those years, I never once had a mystical experience. I never felt god. I never felt the touch of the divine.

After I gave up on religion, I wandered from one spiritual practice to the next. I meditated, I practiced all kinds of energy woo, I sat in circles with others and we prayed and chanted, I sat in a sweat lodge and chanted and drummed and sweated. I tried my hand at everything I could think of. I had heard others talk about connecting with the divine, of having mystical experiences. But in those many years of spiritual searching and experience, I never felt anything mystical. I never felt a sense of timelessness, or one with the universe. I never felt a sense of sacredness or ultimate reality. Not once.

Maybe, unlike 85% (or more) of humanity, my god gene is turned off. So, I thought I'd ask you a few questions. You can answer by email or in the comments below. But I'd love to know the following:

  1. Have you ever had a mystical experience?

  2. If you had a mystical experience would you consider it religious (pertaining to God), or spiritual (more universal, not religious), or just a brain phenomenon at the time and after contemplation?

  3. Did the mystical experience cause you to seek out a way to try to make it happen again? Did it make you try to be more religious or spiritual in some way?

  4. If you have experienced something mystical, are you still spiritual or religious now? Is that in part because of your experience in any way?

  5. If you had a mystical experience and you're now an atheist, how did you reconcile that with being a nonbeliever now? Did it make it harder to lose your faith, do you think?

  6. Are you like me? Have you never experienced anything like what I've described?

  7. If you've never had a mystical experience, do you think that has made it easier for you to be a nonbeliever?

  8. If you've never had a mystical experience and you're religious or spiritual, how does that make you feel? Are you actively searching for this experience that others are having and you are not?

  9. Do you have anything to add that I didn't think of?

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions. I'm wondering if it's just me who is devoid of the mystical, or if maybe there is a correlation to those of us who don't believe in any gods.


  1. I don't think I've ever had a mystical experience like this author is really going for, though maybe I've experienced something that meets some of those criteria. Have you ever been hiking and come out of a tree-covered trail up to the top of a mountain, or a clearing by a waterfall, and been awestruck by the beauty of nature? I sometimes feel that way also when looking up at the stars on a very clear night, in an area without light pollution. I might say that at some of those moments I have felt "unity or totality" with the universe, or "a sense of timelessness." I don't think I'd say that I had "a sense that one can not adequately describe the richness of their experience" -- but maybe that's because I am rarely at a loss for words. :) But I think whether we define these experiences for ourselves as "spiritual" or "religious" -- as opposed to just "really awesome" -- is a matter of how we're brought up and the messages we get from society.

  2. I'll side with NFQ. I wouldn't say I've ever had a mystical experience, but being in nature can give me a profound sense of relaxation and unity with all the living things on earth that I don't feel in regular day-to-day life. I wouldn't be surprised if some people think of that kind of feeling as connecting with God/the divine.

    I think it's either some innate sense of human nature of where we belong, or perhaps it's less of that and more the fact that I was in and around nature all the time in the first 18 years of my life, before I moved to various cities. The nature back home, especially in and around the dunes, gives me a sense of belonging that I certainly don't get from the local villages.

  3. Thanks very much, NFQ! :)
    Yes, when I'm in nature, I'm often awestruck by how amazing it all is, how wonderfully it all seems to work together. I think the difference between what I'm experiencing and what others are might be very significant.
    I never felt like I couldn't explain my experience. Nature is just amazing to me, not mystical.
    I certainly don't feel all those things at once which I think is what was being suggested, although maybe I'm wrong.
    The thing is, I never felt the mystical experience, even though I was actively searching for it.

  4. Thanks very much, Frans. :)
    I've felt like you, I think. But I wonder if others are feeling something much ... more? And that's what the writers were talking about?
    Maybe atheists don't have mystical experiences? Maybe we feel wonderful about nature, connected to it, relaxed, awed, but not mystical like the writers said.
    I don't know.
    I grew up in nature too. And I always thought it was wonderful. I wanted it to be magical though, and it never was, no matter how much I tried to pretend.

  5. When I was a teenager I was a superstitious person, and I did have paranormal experiences that I can't explain. These of course can hardly be considered a "religious" experience, but I do believe there is a relevance here. Could the simple fact that I had a superstitious mentality at the time driven the experiences to happen for me? I did have the experiences with someone else so I know I wasn't delusional. I guess for me, my logical mind has just dismissed the experiences and have not sought out an explanation. The experiences DO sometimes cloud my skeptical thinking. I am usually able to in turn dismiss them as something explainable. Just power my way through with logic.

  6. Yes, I've had "mystical" experiences, but I'm pretty sure,at this time in my life, that I was hallucinating. And I am not being facetious when I say that. It is just that I am skeptical of the whole thing...even after experiencing it. On more than one occasion, I might add. I'm of the opinion that it is another way of deluding ourselves, making ourselves feel safe in a big, often incomprehensible universe. But that might be me being cynical.

  7. Alright, your reply made me think I should go by the mystical experience checkmarks.

    1) a sense of unity or totality

    I guess I've had that, as I described above. I'm not entirely sure what the totality is meant to feel like, but a sense of unity with the surroundings and the earth (and perhaps even the universe) at large, sure.

    2) a sense of timelessness

    I doubt it, except for thinking something like "darn, this place is very much like it was 15 years ago." But at the same time the passing of time is rather obvious, given how all kinds of little things change (trees grow, wooden benches weather, etc.). I doubt that's what's meant. You could also interpret it as the fact that hours can pass easily while walking along a forest trail or some such, but again, I doubt that's really it. I never feel timeless, whatever that's supposed to be, I just lose track of time unless I check my watch. There's nothing unique about nature in that, it's just a feature of relaxation time in general.

    3) a sense of having encountered ultimate reality

    I barely even know what that's supposed to mean. I bet that if I encountered that, I'd think my brain was having a joke at my expense or that I might be sick.

    4) a sense of sacredness

    I very much doubt if I've ever felt anything that might be called sacredness. Just about everything I do know of as sacredness appears to be either supreme silliness or simply imposing location, architecture or decoration. The latter three by no means preclude silliness, btw. In a sense I do consider life sacred, but it just seems like the wrong word; probably because it seems too strong or too religious in meaning.

    5) a sense that one can not adequately describe the richness of their experience

    I don't think I've had that problem.

  8. No mystical experiences for me. I was raised in a reformed Jewish household but got into xtian religion while in the military. Now I'm an atheist and looking back I realize that what I thought were mystical experiences were just me "getting into" a situation, such as prayer. Interestingly, I feel the "connectedness" and "peace" when I am in a "nature" setting and also when I am "in tight" with people like at a church or in the military or whatever group. Even veteran's groups. Perhaps I just feel a need for connection at that time, or in general. Or the way I was raised told me that "groups of people" = "cosmic connectedness." What Angie D said rings true: "... I’m of the opinion that it is another way of deluding ourselves, making ourselves feel safe in a big, often incomprehensible universe."

  9. I did have a few which I consider mystical. It did happen to me quite a few times. The phenomenon is best described as a short moment of intense inspiration. It is the feeling that on a short moment you have a brain fart (pardon my French) and you understand something very complex. Why I sometimes consider it to be mystical is you can loose the idea later on and you’re unable to recapitulate what you’ve learned or the brilliant idea you had on that moment. That's what's making it mystical. So when does it happen? I have it when I do problem solving, designing and writing my music. I was working on a very complex theory and I was connecting the dots. Suddenly you punch through It’s really a great feeling (it’s a WOW moment). It’s probably comparable to what Archimedes felt when he yelled EUREKA!

    Dawkins has a very good explanation in his book ‘The God Delusion’ on why people have such religious mystical experiences (at least why they claim they have them) and how it all works in the brain. A recommended read! And yes, churches with their awe and stained glass are made that way for you to be (bluntly said) brainwashed.

    I am a true atheist and have an overall skeptical/scientific approach to every issue or topic. So most claims of religious mystical experiences are (in my opinion) misfires of natural processes in the brain (ask James Randi about that). And they are not like my eureka momoment.

    ps: Help religious people remember: If there are holes in the cheese, it doesn’t mean there is no cheese :)

  10. I have had many "mystical" experiences. They happen all the time. They tend to annoy me rather. I keep them in a separate mental compartment and try not to take them too seriously. I must confess that I am not precisely an atheist. I consider myself a Christian, although I don't believe almost anything that the Christianoids believe, because they are morons who can't even understand the literal meaning of the word in their book, much less the spiritual lessons it imparts.

    Among other things, I have heard fairly often from a kind of mental "voice", like a thought that comes to me from someone or somewhere else, not from myself. Due to the subjective nature of the experience, I can't present any evidence for it's existence, but I know what I have experienced. And I am impressed by the authoritative tone of this "voice" as well as it's habit of giving me information that I have no other way of knowing, but that proves to be true in every case--including information on things that have not yet happened, but occur just as predicted.

    For years, I referred to this as "the voice of God", simply because it seemed to match all the characteristics of the voice that the prophets of old described. Then I noticed that others, like Socrates, also heard a voice that sounded very much the same; he called it the voice of his "daemon", a Greek word meaning "spirit." And I note that in their later years, both Thomas Edison and his rival, Nicola Tesla, claimed that their inventions were based on "telepathic" communications received from extraterrestrials. Well, it's an explanation at least. I now refer to this mental voice as the voice of "intuition." I believe it is a common property of humanity with our large, complex brains. I don't believe that there is a "God" gene, because our DNA simply provides the instructions for growing a new human; it doesn't have a separate gene for each and every trait.

    I don't know whether there is a God somewhere or not, and I don't really care. I am mostly an agnostic now. I am content to waffle on the subject and I am aware that I am sometimes inconsistent on the question, but I'm a human being, so I believe I have a perfect right to entertain a bit of ambiguity, when it entertains me to do so. When intuition (whatever that might be) gives me good advice, I tend to take it. Of course, I get to decide what advice is good and what is not worth listening to.

    With love under will,

    Bob, Adastra,
    The Wizzard of Jacksonville

  11. 1. a sense of unity or totality

    Let's see here... not really. But I do have something similar. When I was much younger, in my teens, when I would think and visualize a monumental object, like the moon in comparison to me... I would gain a sudden and huge sense of insignificance. It would be scary, invoking feelings of panic. A strange thing, but I grew out of it? I can now visualize such objects in comparison to me without such intense feelings.

    2. a sense of timelessness

    Uhhh, no. Time goes by way, way too fast.

    3. a sense of having encountered ultimate reality

    Yes, atheism... Aha ha ha, I'm not exactly completely joking though. Since I came to atheism on my own, each step towards it, such as when I became a pantheist, was a "Aha!" moment. Such moments come with theism all the time, when people finally find some passage that confirms their faith, or a pastor gives some speech that answers a question that was causing you to doubt. Especially common for children. It also happened one time when I wrote something about love being the meaning to life, as to beat Satin you must love him (cool thoughts from when I was still religious).

    4. a sense of sacredness

    Negative. I have a feeling such supposed feelings of sacredness are just feelings of awe as stated above by people.

    5. a sense that one can not adequately describe the richness of their experience

    Huh, doesn't that mean you just have a bad vocab? Yeah, language isn't exactly the most perfect of communication platforms... but that's what we got.

  12. Awesome, thanks for the link to your post! I look forward to reading about your experiences. :)

  13. I'm not really an atheist; I just kind of don't have an opinion about God.

    I was raised Catholic, which gave me an appetite/curiosity for mystical experience, but all I ever got from the church was screwed. But yes, I have had mystical experiences, and since you seem to be genuinely curious and interested, here are my answers:

    Have you ever had a mystical experience?
    Yes, and very much in accord with your list of indicia.

    If you had a mystical experience would you consider it religious (pertaining to God), or spiritual (more universal, not religious), or just a brain phenomenon at the time and after contemplation?
    Definitely not associated with any religion I know. I would take exception to the idea that it was "just" a brain phenomenon. Aren't all our experiences?

    Did the mystical experience cause you to seek out a way to try to make it happen again?
    Oh, yeah (imagine fist pumping action here.)

    Did it make you try to be more religious or spiritual in some way?
    Not sure what those words mean, but after having experienced the sense of oneness, I'm far more compassionate, less judgmental. Having experienced timelessness, I'm less rushed. etc. This effect tends to be incremental and cumulative, but also permanent.

    If you have experienced something mystical, are you still spiritual or religious now? Is that in part because of your experience in any way?
    I'm more "spiritual" after every one of these experiences, in that that reality (the oneness, the timelessness, the bliss etc.) sort of informs my everyday life, as described above.

    If you had a mystical experience and you’re now an atheist, how did you reconcile that with being a nonbeliever now?
    My views about God and religion have not changed; my mystical experiences are not incompatible with those views. Possibly I am less religious, in that I object more to religion saying you can only have those experiences within the format of religion.

    Did it make it harder to lose your faith, do you think? What faith I have comes from those experiences, so the question is hard for me to process.

    Are you like me?
    I assume we are alike in all the ways that matter. (You don't sound like a sociopath; which is the one group of people I consider myself very unalike to.)

    If you’ve never had a mystical experience, do you think that has made it easier for you to be a nonbeliever?

    If you’ve never had a mystical experience and you’re religious or spiritual, how does that make you feel? Are you actively searching for this experience that others are having and you are not?

    Do you have anything to add that I didn’t think of?
    I get better at it as I practice, and learn where I'm comfortable, and where not. It's a lot like sex in that regard - the more secure and trusting I am on the circumstances, the farther afield I can go.

  14. I have had at least two experiences I would definitely call mystical, and several more that probably got close but weren't "big" enough for the memory to last until now. The first one was in college, and I was dabbling in Buddhism at the time; the last one was just a few weeks ago. Each time it is a rush of euphoria, of connectivity & belonging in the world, and of deep inspiration. It feels like being on the metaphorical mountaintop at the center of a flat world, or opening a doorway in the mind to perceiving everything. For the earlier experience, I crammed a religious interpretation onto it at the time it happened. Very quickly, the force of that experience faded, and it was obviously not caused by some spiritual enlightenment that was revealed to me.

    For the last one, I just decided to enjoy the ride, knowing that this was more of a fortunate physiological or emotional response to something. Even days afterwards, remembering it would put me right back there, with a rush to the heart and a smile on my lips. None of that is going to drag me back to a life of appropriating the supernatural beliefs of others, or of pretending God or gods were sending me special messages advertising their take on existence.

    Now it actually reinforces my atheism, because I can see how easy it would be for others to misinterpret those feelings through a religious lens.

    I don't need to pursue or try to recreate the experience. If it comes again, then great; if not, then I continue on with maximizing the life I have.

  15. Thanks very much, Frans.
    I think you and I are coming from the same place on this. You describe how I feel and how I'd basically answer the questions. I don't think that's what the experience is like though.
    I think when you quiet the right parietal lobe, the amygdala, and wake up the temporal lobe of the brain, the experience is beyond what we get when we go in nature or come across imposing architecture.

  16. Thanks for sharing your perspective, hughring.
    When I was young, I saw a UFO with 2 other children. I mean, a real flying saucer kind of thing. It was very real to us. With the same people, we all experienced ghosts and other "paranormal" phenomena.
    I still can't tell you exactly what we saw or experienced all those times, but logically I am confident that it was 100% natural or man-made, nothing supernatural.
    I agree, sometimes you just have to power your way through with logic. Well said!
    You might not have been delusional, but group dynamics, the power of suggestion, pareidolia, all of that can combine to make you think something is supernatural when it is just unexplained with the available data.

  17. Thanks Angie.
    I don't think that's cynical. I think it's very practical and accurate.

  18. That makes sense, Bunnies. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)
    I think it's natural to want to feel connected to a group of people. I think that we're hard wired for it. Some of us more than others of course. I agree with Angie too.

  19. Hmm, that's interesting, Devlin.
    I've had intense inspiration in my life before. I never considered it mystical. I just considered it to be a Eureka moment. They are very special. :)

  20. Hi Bob,
    Thank you for sharing this. This is fascinating. Have you ever considered that it's a brain phenomenon? Schizophrenia would produce this result, but you'd have other symptoms. But I think I've heard of other types of brain activity that would cause you to hear a voice in your head.

    I had the experience once myself, actually. I heard a loud male voice (which I easily could have labeled "god"). It was in my head and very loud. Definitely didn't seem like "me".

    I wonder if you could test the veracity of the information the voice gives you somehow to see if it's always accurate and something that is not generated by your own information? That would be very amazingly cool.

    I don't know about there being a god gene. Maybe there would be many genes that control different traits that contribute to most people believing in a god. It does seem that certain brain functions can be replicated to make people experience god or other phenomena, so it's definitely in the brain. So it's biological and chemical, at least from my understanding of what I've read and the studies I've seen.

  21. Thanks GMN. Very interesting!
    I think for people who have these mystical experiences, the way it affects their brain might be much more intense and hard to describe than the experiences you or I have gone through.
    That's the point I'm really curious about though. I think for most atheists, we don't have these experiences. That's my hypothesis. :)

  22. Thank you very much, Nicholas.
    That sounds amazing!
    It definitely sounds like a mystical experience.
    That is very wise, that if you have them great, if not then you will continue maximizing the life you have. Well said! :)

  23. Thanks very much for sharing this information, Margarita.

    Good point on "just" a brain phenomena. That was a poor word choice. Brain phenomena are normal. I think I was comparing it to "magical, supernatural". But at least the brain phenomena are real, unlike the supernatural!

    So your experiences have changed your behavior and outlook permanently. That's interesting! And it sounds like it's been very positive.

    It sounds like you can almost make these happen at will! Wow. I wonder if meditation or praying would help you even more to instigate them? That's how they do it for studies.

    I really appreciate your thoughtful answers. I'm fascinated!

  24. Dear Neece,

    Of course it's a brain phenomenon. That's where the thoughts happen. I've never experienced a thought emanating from my right thumb, have you?

    The "voice" that I "hear" isn't loud; it makes me think of the "still, small voice" referred to in 1Ki.19:12, when that voice appeared to Elijah, the prophet. But quiet though it may be, it speaks with an assurance and an authority derived from that assurance that demands attention. I can't always check on what it tells me, since some of what it says relates to personal opinions and insights that are subjective in nature.

    When I have been able to check on it, the information has always been accurate. In one case, I was told that a certain event would occur a few months in the future. I was given an approximate date, which proved to be quite accurate. In fact, the way it was worded sounded to be an approximate date at the time, but when the event occurred, it turned out that the date had been precisely described to within twenty-four hours of the event. And I realized that if I had been given a time as well, it would have done no practical good to have had that information in advance.

    Some of the information I have been given in this way could have been information I had seen and remembered unconsciously. Other time, such complex calculations were involved that related to things I had never before studied that there is simply no believable way I could have known in advance what I was told.

    And as far as the authority I mentioned, I certainly don't mean an unquestionable authority, as some people regard their God. We once had a detailed conversation, the "voice" and I that resulted in the clear understanding that I remain responsible for what I do, regardless of what I hear from any mysterious "voice" in my head. I insisted on this and was told that this was quite correct. So, if this "voice" tells me to go and stone my neighbor to death, I am perfectly within my rights to say, "Sorry, I'm not willing to do that." So far as I am concerned, this kind of agreement would have saved a lot of bigots from making serious mistakes down through the centuries. I mention this become some people I know have expressed concerns that I might receive instructions to do them some injury. Now that would be a symptom of insanity, and I have already taken precautions against such a scenario.

    I hope this is clear enough and answers your questions/ replies to your comments/ anticipates any concerns. And thank you for the opportunity to share this strange dimension of human thought and experience.

    With love under will,

    Bob, Adastra,
    The Wizzard of Jacksonville

  25. Not completely at will (sometimes I just can't get off the ground, so to speak), but, yeah, meditation and breathing exercises; that's my practice. The most effective meditation/breathing exercise I know is Ananda Mandala, which you can get from iTunes. A huge part of the effectiveness is - well, basically hyperventilation, hyper-oxygenating the brain. Usually I just get a buzz, but every now and then - oooh, a bliss shower of timeless oneness wonder!

    I tend to disagree with your hypothesis, though. I definitely don't believe in god, and I can have these experiences....

    Anyway, good questions. We don't talk about this stuff enough. best of luck in your searches.

  26. That's absolutely fascinating, Bob. Thank you so much for sharing your very interesting experiences. I don't claim to understand completely. It sounds like you handle it in a healthy manner.

  27. Thanks for the additional information, Margarita. Yes, I think nonreligious people can have these experiences and I think I have to think more about my hypothesis.
    That bliss shower sounds amazing!

  28. Good stuff here! I'm not out to prove or dis-prove anything, just to explore. I've had many "God" experiences, but don't consider myself religious and don't attend church very often; am currently reading "An Atheist Defends Religion" by Bruce Sheiman, also good stuff. Fanny Crosby, the hymnist (also blind) described it as "the very gates of heaven opened" to her when she experienced it for the first time in her 40's. I was also in my 40's when that occurred for me the first time.

    My first day of seminary, in my first class, a very attractive, well-dressed African-American woman leaned over to me and asked, "When did you get The Call?" I answered, "How do you know I got one?" She responded, "I can tell by looking at you that you are not here on a whim." A good-sized group of us, mixed racially, denominationally, mixed ages would talk in terms of "the big voice" and the "little voice" when we communicated with each other and we all knew what we meant.

  29. I've now had these experiences in just about any kind of situation, usually when I'm very relaxed and quiet, e.g. when riding my motorcycle on a sunny day completely bathed in sunshine and warmth, also when petting animals, when in small prayer circles, when I was baptized, during church worship, during congregational prayer. To me it is as much physical as spiritual. It doesn't seem like an emotion to me. It is more a completely emptying and cleansing, almost purification, and very intense. I usually tear up, sometimes even sob. I've experienced it in foreign church services where I didn't even know the language; it's more of a presence like God wants us to know his presence (small letter "h" is intentional) more than he wants us to know facts about him or how to act or what to believe. Knowing his presence is the most important thing, it seems to me, more than knowing definitions or worse or scripture verses. It seems like it goes across religions, that it can be experienced by Buddhists, Hindi, Muslims, Mormons, it's very much non-denominational.

    It's like the last scene in "Contact" the movie with Jody Foster (on You-Tube) and Bruce Sheiman's book beginning at the bottom of p.15 thru p. 16

  30. I meant "words" not "worse"....oops

  31. I find your post funny... because you are arguing against the core of most of the religions you posted in multiple ways.

    But here's a big thing, you might note that Buddhism does not have a belief in god. The truth of the matter, is yes, you can have those feelings, and you don't even have to have a belief in god. You kind of undermined your whole post.

  32. As I said, I'm not out to prove anything, so "undermining" anything I say doesn't bother me. I call myself a believer, but allow for the possibility that God doesn't exist. Bruce Sheiman calls himself an atheist, but allows for the possibility that there might be a God. He and I are very close to believing the same things, except that I'm not nearly at his intellectual level. But, I have had many mystical experiences.

    I don't believe in the Genesis version of creation or Mohammed when he says it happened in 6 days. I do believe that if you accept the Big Bang theory and that alone that you have to believe in magic. All things came from (the Catholic phrase) "ex nihilo" without even an abracadabra. Where did the chaos come from, the particles to cause the bang? I agree with Bruce, we are at an impasse. None of us can answer our own questions or anyone elses. If I leave a piece of lint on my nightstand for 5 million years, it won't turn into anything but a calcified piece of lint.

  33. Recovering from a deep sleep after that! I didn't say God dun it! I said I have experienced God, period. I wrote this before I found out that Socrates wrote nearly the same thing, ""Knowing that you don't know and knowing that no one knows is the greatest faith of all." Gary Decker, May 15, 2010

    Lots of people think they have a patent on the truth, but none of us do. The Psalmist(s) understood this.
    Not having a need for a system of theology or belief is the most freedom attainable by a human being. God is, period. Something got us here.
    Whatever that is is what I call God. I don't care if you call it Allah, evolution, the big bang, Ja, the great poobah, or even agnosticism or atheism.
    Any name we give It is our name forced on God, and our name is wrong whatever we use. The ancient Jews understood this. We haven't improved
    on their understanding, even as smart as we think we are. Not using THE NAME acknowledged that they didn't know what it was.

  34. you lose me in about 2 paragraphs, but I am intrigued by your word, "energy". I've been thinking about that a lot, "pre-existing" to anything else "energy." Why couldn't you just as well use the word "spirit?"

    My whole deal is this, something got us here, only one thing got us here. I call it God, you call it evolution, I guess. Others call it other things, but only one thing got us here. That one thing is what it is, and we're guessing what it is, and naming it whatever.

  35. Because using the word "spirit" is trying to inflate the term with unnecessary and made up baggage. You don't want to use the term "spirit" to just mean energy, you want it to mean more, hence why it's not just acceptable to call it what it is, energy. Energy doesn't think, it doesn't act, it doesn't have a will, it doesn't have a memory, it doesn't act with universal intent, and so on and so forth for any given property.

    Just like when you say you call it god, you don't actually mean that. I'll try to sum up the above for you real quick here, you said you "feel" god. You don't feel evolution. Do you understand now? You don't just want it to be what it is, you want to give it a tangible presence that you can feel. If you were really honest to yourself in calling god ONLY what brought us here, you would not argue that you can feel god. Saying god made us, and that you can feel god, are two properties that are not equal.

    From the science perspective, you saying only one thing got us here is unequivocally false. And evolution only plays a part. There are thousands of processes that have lead to us in our current state. Are you going to now call them gods? From this point, we return to my initial post about how Catholics don't really believe everything came from nothing. The problem wasn’t why WE personally exist, but why anything exists at all, thus the problem of why god exists is still there...

    So finally, you are assuming that something had to get us here. That statement has no validity. It's quite possible that there was no initial spark that started existence. Thus, if you were really being honest about it, you must then acknowledge there might not be a god, even by your definition of it.

    So to hash it up, even by your definition of god, there is no god.